Panama City–Bay County International Airport
|Panama City–Bay County International Airport|
|Owner||Panama City–Bay County Airport and Industrial District|
|Serves||Panama City, Florida|
|Elevation AMSL||20 ft / 6 m|
Panama City–Bay County International Airport (IATA:
ECP, ICAO: KPFN, FAA LID: PFN) was a public airport three miles northwest of Panama City, in Bay County, Florida. It was owned and operated by the Panama City–Bay County Airport and Industrial District. All airline services moved to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport on May 22, 2010, but the airfield was open to general aviation aircraft until October 1, 2010. The grounds will eventually be turned over to LUK-MB1 LLC, which plans to remove the runways and build homes, shops, walking trails and a marina.
Panama City–Bay County International Airport (PFN) began as a private field owned by J.B. Atkinson, Jr., a citizen of Panama City. The facility had 292 acres (1.2 km²) of land with grass landing strips. In 1932 Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson, Jr. donated the property to the Panama City Chamber of Commerce so a city airport could be established. At that time the airport was named Atkinson Field. In 1938 Panama City and the Bay County Commissioners joined forces to develop the Airport through the construction of an airport terminal and extensive airfield expansion. The facility’s $604,000 development project included the construction of a small passenger terminal and two 4,000-foot (1,200 m) intersecting runways. After the expansion was completed, the airport was renamed Fannin Field in honor of the Panama City mayor during this period.
Through World War II the airport was a Civil Air Patrol facility, the location of Coastal Patrol Base 14. In 1943 the Florida legislature approved the formation of an airport authority, the Panama City–Bay County Airport and Industrial District, to manage Fannin Field, or Panama City–Bay County Airport, as it became known. In 1948 commercial scheduled passenger airline operations began.
In 1992 the airport was equipped with on-call customs and immigrations facilities provided through the Port of Panama City and was designated as an international airport and renamed Panama City–Bay County International Airport. The airport was declared a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), allowing special customs procedures. These permit domestic activity involving foreign items to take place as though they were outside of U.S. Customs territory.
In 1995 the airport went through extensive development, demolishing the old terminal building and building a new 55,573-square-foot (5,162.9 m2) facility with six gates, two with jetbridges. The terminal had concession areas, a passenger hold room, ticketing counters and airline office space, airport administration offices, public and rental car parking lots, and a larger apron. Service included Delta Connection to Atlanta, US Airways Express to Charlotte (and other destinations initially in Florida) and Northwest Airlink to Memphis.
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport replaced Panama City–Bay County International Airport, which lacked room to expand. The new airport opened May 23, 2010 with flights operated by Delta Air Lines with mainline jet aircraft nonstops to Atlanta, with this Delta service moving from the old airport to the new airport, and new service flown by Southwest Airlines with Boeing 737 jetliners.
Past airline service
From the 1950s until the late 1970s, two airlines served Panama City: National Airlines and Southern Airways. National was operating Lockheed Lodestar aircraft into airport by the early 1950s with flights to Jacksonville and New Orleans via various intermediate stops. Southern began service in the mid 1950s with Douglas DC-3 flights to Atlanta via several intermediate stops. In 1967, National was operating Lockheed L-188 Electra propjets into the airport with direct, no change of plane service to Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Jacksonville, Mobile and Key West with nonstop flights to Pensacola and Tallahassee. Jet service arrived in Panama City by the late 1960s. In 1968, Southern was operating Douglas DC-9-10 twin jets direct to Atlanta via an intermediate stop in Dothan, AL and was continuing to serve the airport with Martin 4-0-4 prop airliner flights nonstop to Atlanta, Dothan and Fort Walton Beach (via Eglin AFB), and also direct to Birmingham, Montgomery and New Orleans. Southern was also providing direct DC-9 connecting jet service via Dothan to Washington Dulles Airport and New York LaGuardia Airport at this time as well. National had also introduced jet service and in 1969 was operating Boeing 727-100 jetliners on direct flights to Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Houston, Mobile, Jacksonville and Melbourne, FL with nonstop service to Pensacola and Tallahassee.
By 1976, all flights operated by National and Southern into the airport were being flown with jet aircraft. National was flying Boeing 727-200 jetliners with direct, no change of plane service from New York JFK Airport, Washington D.C. National Airport (now Reagan Airport), Las Vegas, San Francisco, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Charleston, Norfolk, Jacksonville and Mobile with nonstop flights from Tampa, Tallahassee and Pensacola. Southern was operating Douglas DC-9-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jets with nonstop service from Atlanta, Dothan, Eglin AFB and Tallahassee as well as direct flights from Miami and Orlando. In 1977, South Central Air Transport (SCAT), a commuter air carrier, was also serving the airport with service to New Orleans, Montgomery, Mobile and Fort Walton Beach (via Eglin AFB) flown with Handley Page Jetstream propjets.
National Airlines was no longer serving Panama City by 1979. Southern Airways had merged with North Central Airlines to form Republic Airlines which in turn was continuing to serve the airport with nonstop DC-9-10, DC-9-30 and DC-9-50 jet service to Atlanta, Orlando and Tallahassee with direct, no change of plane jet flights to Chicago O'Hare Airport, Memphis, Huntsville and Miami. Air Florida, a new start-up airline, was serving Panama City as well with Boeing 737-200 and Douglas DC-9-10 jets with nonstop flights to Pensacola and Tallahassee as well as direct service to Tampa and Miami.
Metro Airlines operating via a code sharing agreement as Eastern Metro Express on behalf of Eastern Airlines was flying nonstop between Panama City and Atlanta beginning in the mid 1980s with British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 and de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 Dash 8 turboprops.
In 1986, Republic Airlines was acquired by and merged into Northwest Airlines which in 1987 was operating nonstop flights between Panama City and its hub in Memphis with Douglas DC-9-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jets.
Air New Orleans operating as Continental Express via a code sharing agreement with Continental Airlines was flying nonstop to Orlando and Tampa as well as direct to New Orleans with Beechcraft C99 turboprops in 1987. Air New Orleans was initially based in Panama City.
By 1991, Delta Air Lines was serving the airport with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jets with nonstop service to Atlanta. Prior to Delta introducing mainline jet service, in 1989 Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) was operating nonstop de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 and Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop flights to Atlanta operating as the Delta Connection via code sharing agreement with Delta and this service continued in tandem with Delta's jet service.
In 1994, Delta Air Lines was flying Boeing 737-200 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jetliners into Panama City. Delta was operating nonstop flights from its hub in Atlanta as well as direct, no change of plane service from Dallas/Fort Worth, Louisville and Norfolk. Delta was the only airline operating mainline jet service into the airport at this time. Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) was also continuing to fly nonstop from Atlanta operating as the Delta Connection on behalf of Delta with Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia propjets. Northwest Airlink was flying nonstop from Memphis with Saab 340 turboprops on behalf of Northwest Airlines via a code sharing agreement. US Airways Express was also serving the airport on behalf of US Airways via a code sharing agreement with nonstop flights from Orlando, Tampa and Fort Walton Beach operated with Beechcraft 1900C commuter turboprops.
In 2007, Delta Connection was operating nonstop service to Atlanta with Canadair CRJ-200, CRJ-700 and Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets and also with ATR-72 regional propjets. In addition, Delta Connection was flying nonstop to Orlando with Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets and was also operating Saturday only nonstops to Cincinnati with Canadair CRJ regional jets. Northwest Airlink was flying nonstop to Memphis with Canadair CRJ regional jets at this time as well.
Several commuter air carriers served the airport as well over the years including Dolphin Airlines, Mackey International Airlines, Scheduled Skyways and Sun Air.
Panama City–Bay County International Airport covered 745 acres (301 ha) at an elevation of 20 feet (6 m). It had two asphalt runways: 14/32 was 6,308 x 150 ft (1,923 x 46 m) and 5/23 was 4,884 x 150 ft (1,489 x 46 m).
In 2006 the airport had 88,059 aircraft operations, average 241 per day: 72% general aviation, 13% air taxi (11,080), 10% military and 5% airline. 160 aircraft were then based at the airport: 58% single-engine, 18% multi-engine, 9% jet and 15% helicopter.
- FAA Airport Master Record for ECP ( PDF), effective 2008-04-10
- Owens, Sarah "Old airport's closing is ‘bittersweet'" (May 22, 2010) The Walton Sun
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Dec. 1952 National Airlines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Sept. 1, 1956 Southern Airways system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, April 30, 1967 National Airlines system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, Sept. 3, 1968 Southern Airways system timetable
- http://www.timetableimages.com, July 15, 1969 National Airlines system timetable
- Feb. 1, 1976 Official Airline Guide (OAG) North American edition, Panama City, Florida (PFN) flight schedules
- http://www.timetableimages.com, May 15, 1977 South Central Air Transport timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, May 1, 1979 National Airlines route map
- http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1979 Republic Airlines system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, April 1, 1981 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Atlanta-Panama City flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 1, 1979 Air Florida system timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Panama City flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Feb, 15, 1985 & Dec. 15, 1989 editions, Official Airline Guide (OAG), Atlanta-Panama City flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Sept. 9, 1987 Northwest Airlines direct service timetable
- http://www.departedflights.com, Feb. 1, 1987 Continental Airlines timetable
- http://www/departedflights.com, Oct. 1, 1991 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Atlanta-Panama City flight schedules
- http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Atlanta-Panama City flight schedules
- Sept. 15, 1994 Official Airline Guide (OAG) desktop flight guide, North American edition, Panama City, Florida flight schedules for Delta, Delta Connection, Northwest Airlink and US Airways Express
- Feb. 2007 OAG Flight Guide, Worldwide Edition, Panama City, Florida (PFN) flight schedules for Delta Connection and Northwest Airlink
- Panama City–Bay County International Airport relocation project
- Panama City–Bay County International Airport (KPFN), FAA information effective July 29, 2010, published by AirNav
- Aeronautical chart from SkyVector
- History of Airline Service at Panama City-Bay County Airport Pictorial history by Sunshine Skies
- Abandoned & Little Known Airfields Published by Paul Freeman